News reports - October 2017

29th October 2017: Two age group champions, a new Club Record: and lots of PBs at Junior Quadrathon


11 of our junior athletes ventured to Sportcity  for the annual SHAC Indoor Quadrathon. 

We had 2 Under 11 Girls competing in Hannah Keenan and Charlotte Hughes. Hannah performed best of the two and was the outright victor in this category with 4 PB performances 9.8 for 60m, 4.50 for chest push, 3.12 for the LJ and an excellent 600m to finish where she had to beat a Stockport athlete by over 2 seconds to claim overall victory which she did in a time of 2.08.5 to give her an overall total of  271. Lottie also had 2 PB performances of 10.3 in the 60m and 4.50 in the Chest Push, rounding off her comp with a 2.56 LJ and a 2.25.9 600m for a total off 223.

We had 2 U13 boys competing in Adam Byrne and Thomas Kilburn both having their first outing as Under 13's. Both Boys had 3 PB performances, Thomas in the 60m which he ran in 10.4, the shot which he threw 4.48 and the 600m in 2.12.7 he also long jumped 3.09 for an overall total of 160. Adam scored slightly better to finish in 11th place with PB's of 9.8 in the 60m, 2.04.6 in the 600 and 4.56 in the shot putt. He also long jumped 3.36 for a total of 190.

As usual our most populated age group was U13 girls with 5 athletes competing.They were Lauren Byrne, Amber Hughes, Jess Keenan, Grace Malone and Katelyn Swift. Amber performed well enough to take overall victory with 2 PB an improved club record in the 60m and a Championship Best performance. Her CB came in the 60m which she ran in 8.6 and she also threw the shot a pb of 8.71 rounding off her day with a LJ of 3.73 and a 1.53 600m for overall total of 278 and 1st place overall. Our other 4 girls were involved in an excellent inter club battle where after 3 events only 6 points covered the 4 of them!! It was Grace Malone who ended up top of the mini comp but needed 4  PB efforts to do so!! She ran the 60m in 9.2, LJ 3.38, threw the shot 5.04 and ran her 600 in 2.05 for a total of 205. Jess was just 3 points behind with a total of 202 including 2 PB off 3.53 in the LJ and 9.4 in the 60m. She also threw the shot 4.48 and ran her 600m in 2.04.3. Next was Lauren in her first comp as an under 13 and she also had 4 PB performances!! 9.3 in the 60m, 2.15.2 in the 600, 5.17 in the shot and a LJ of 3.44 for a total of 195. Katelyn also had a very productive day which included a PB of 9.5 in the 60m and and equal PB of 2.11.5 in the 600m, Katelyn also long  jumped 3.29 and threw the shot 4.58 for a total of 187.

Katie Piercy was our lone U15 girl and this was also her first outing in that age group. She acquitted herself very well for an overall 5th position with a score of 235. This was helped by 2 PB's in the Shot of 8.40 and a 9.0 in the 60m. She also LJ 3.66 and completed her 800m in 2.53.8.

Bethany Swift also took the chance to enter some of the U17 open races as she also moved up in age. She ran 2 PB's in the 60m - 10.2 and the 600m in 2.32.4 and just outside her pb in 36.4.

Also a thank you to Ron Scott who was officiating in the track events.

Full results


In other news, a couple of weeks ago we had an athlete who, although not a SWAC member, we have adopted as one of our own as she trains in the throws group overseen by Anne at LItherland. This athlete is Bekki Roche who broke not only the UK and European record but also the WORLD RECORD in the hammer throws decathlon. This is an event where athletes throw various weights of hammer and Bekki beat the old mark by 1108 to set a new record of 5034!!!

28th October 2017: Just three SWAC runners at first L&D

The Liverpool & District Cross Country Union's 2017 season kicked off at Arrowe Park on the Wirral on Saturday. Traditionally a fairly muddy course, conditions were not too bad. Muddy patches, yes - by the car par and half way up the hill for example - but remarkably the area around the pavilion / changing rooms was the best I have seen it in years. The weather was mostly dry but with strong, gusting winds. The course was subject to a last minute change on safety grounds. The area through the woods was planned as a contra flow but with a deep gully down the side of the path the course was re-routed to keep that area one-way. The course was still a good 3 laps for approx 6 miles / 10 kms.

Liverpool Harriers were prominent from early on and half way through the first lap had 10 of the top 14 runners. They finished 7 in the top ten so were the clear individual and team winners.

Unfortunately, Southport Waterloo did not manage a team here with only three runners turning out for team manager Steve James. Alex Waddelove was first in a Southport Waterloo vest finishing in 38 mins 57. Next was Carl McMahon in 44 mins 21 and finally Billy Hargreaves in 54 mins 02. 125 runners completed the course with a good number of female runners, many likely to run for the L&D in the Senior Men's race at the British Athletics Cross Challenge in Sefton Park on 25th November. Remember, if you plan to run Sefton Park you must be pre-entered so let your Team manager know asap.

Full results will appear on the L&D web site


22nd October 2017: Ben Johnson completes his first marathon in an England vest

Ben Johnson was part of the team England sent to Canada for Sunday's Toronto Waterfront marathon. His time of 2:23:22 was just a little slower than London this year but every marathon course is different with its unique challenges and with a 12th place finish overall and the first in the England team to finish it was a magnificent display of distance running. Ben said " It was a great experience, good team and we were really well looked after by the organizers."

Full results

See also the England Athletics news report on the race.

14th October 2017: Two wins and 6 top ten finishes at Cuerden Valley XC

My car tells me that the outside temperature is in the low 20s as I drive to Cuerden Valley Park. Can this really be the club's first cross country league fixture? Well yes! We have enjoyed warm, sunny weather before for an early Mid Lancs Cross Country League fixture and certainly thermals and warm coats were not required today. Boots for, however, those walking the course because, although the weather was kind, several parts of the course were muddy and slippery. The older age groups had two river crossings with water half way up the calf but it was a small ditch that caused most concern. When we were here last October, the junior races didn't cross the ditch and seniors could leap across without much difficulty. This year, all the races were routed across the ditch and it proved a major hurdle with sticky, clinging, wet mud about 12 inches deep and over 3 metres across. In the event, the Under 11s and Under 13 Girls were re-routed on safety grounds.

The course was slightly different from last year with more running on grass than before but the Start remained on a camber and the Finish was placed to provide a uphill climb to the tape.

Cuerden Valley is not a parkland course. The ground conditions make for tough running but the general consensus on Saturday was that it was an interesting and enjoyable course. Proper, British cross country!

Southport Waterloo was very well represented at Cuerden Valley with 54 runners, including 15 Senior Women. I can't remember so many ladies at a cross country before so this might be a record!

The meeting started with the Under 11 Girls where we had Emily Dean, Charlotte Hughes and Apphia Keenan competing. A confident run by Emily brought her home 4th of 53 girls in 6:54. Apphia was 20th in 7.32 and Charlotte 24th in 7.39; all three girls finishing in the top half of the field. They were 5th team on the day.

Our Under 11 Boys did even better! Here, we had two top ten finishes, Sammy Pickerill winning the race outright in 5:39 and Will Collins 5th in 6:00. Sammy was neck and neck with a Barlick runner as he climbed to the finish, digging deep for the final effort to take a well-deserved win. Both boys were given the same time. Thomas Kilburn was 45th in 7:33 so we had a team finish, 4th on the day.

In the Under 13 Girls' race, we had Grace Barr, Jenna Christian, Amber Hughes, Millie Ireland, Annabel Lockie, Libby Simpson,Chloe Sutton and Katelyn Swift running. Grace was first home for the club, 12th of 63 finishers in 14:18. The times here are a bit misleading because I think the rerouting of the Under 13 Girls' course to avoid the muddy bog meant that they ran further than intended. Last year's run was between 2 and 3 minutes shorter. A solid run from Libby Simpson brought her home in 31st place in 15:42. Annabel completed the course in 16:18, Katelyn in 16:37, Jenna in 18:01, Chloe in 18:43 and Millie in 20:10. Unfortunately, Amber had to retire with an ankle injury, hopefully one she can recover from quickly. It was a long, tough run for these young girls so very well done for completing the course. Great, too, to have 8 Under 13 Girls doing cross country this season. Hopefully the long run today won't put them off. All the other courses should be easier. Grace, Libby and Annabel finished 6th team.

If only we had as many Under 13 Boys. But three was enough for a team finish. Callum Hampton, in his first race in club colours, was first home, 17th of 58 boys in 15:13 and his pedigree can be judged by finishing two places ahead of Michael Henderson, 17th in 15:18. Callum was another who fairly sprinted to the line to keep ahead of another Barlick runner. Our third counter was James Pike, 37th in 16:43. The boys finished 5th team.

Olivia Logan ran as an Under 15 Girl this year and won that race in 14:13, half a minute ahead of the next girl. A great start to the cross country season for Olivia who didn't hang around afterwards - competing in a swimming gala in Blackpool later in the day!

Lilly-Ann Grayson was our 2nd girl home and another top ten finisher, 5th of 42 finishers in 15:43. Freya Walsh was 14th in 17:02 and Bethany Swift 40th in 24:53. With a 1st, 5th and 14th finish, the girls won the team race, four points ahead of Preston.

Remarkably, we had another team finish in the Under 15 Boys' race. Here, Sam Coupland, Joseph Sutton and Lewis McMahon were competing. Sam was first home, 25th in 16:12, Joe finishing in 18:24 and Lewis in 18:51. The team were 5th.

Jessica Dean was our only Under 17 Woman. She was 6th in 16:59. Harry was the only Southport Waterloo Under 17 Man, finishing 11th in 21:44. Two Under 17s at Cuerden Valley is two more than the whole of last season so very good news indeed. Harry, in particular, will have moved up in distance so this was probably the longest (and toughest) cross country course he has run.

Moving on to the senior runners and it was a very welcome sight to see so many Senior Women in Southport Waterloo vests. 15 in total, including several new runners who probably haven't run cross country since school. Well, this would have been a tough introduction but there were plenty of smiles at the end and excellent team spirit so we should have a good turnout at Sefton Park in November.

Nicola Simpson had a great run to finish 19th of 190 finishers in 25:36 for the 5.5 kms course. Michelle Spencer was next, 41st in 27:41 Team Manager Carole James had a great run to finish 58th in 29:21 to anchor the team in 10th place overall. Helen Lavelle was 74th in 31:09. Other finishers were Helen Lodge, 33:00, Sue Stewart, 33:38 and 2nd F65, Elaine Sutton, 34:12, Louise Hassall, 34:49, Joanne McDougall, 36:55, Catherine McElhinney, 37:01, Katy Coupland, 37:20, Lynne Vickers, 37:57, Sarah Pickerill, 38:01, Jane Blacklin, 42:17, and Joanne Fenna, 44:23.

Michelle, Carole and Helen were 10th LV35 and Carole, Helen and Sue were 6th LV45 team.

The Senior Men's race over about 10 kms didn't feature our fastest men's team and, with only 13 runners, not a big representation. Richard Talbot, 6th MV50, was first home, 78th of 233 finishers in 46:05, just a second ahead of Gareth Simpson, 79th in 46:06 in his first race for the club. Ian Fitzpatrick was 120th in 48:26, Carl McMahon, 121st in 48:34, and Brian Davey, 123rd in 48:40. Brian was 4th MV60. Other finishers were Keith Lunt, 50:19, Neil Silcock, 54:14, Matt Nelson, 56:45, Clive James, 57:04, Gareth Williams, 58:38, Ian Pike, 68:21, and Lee Coupland, 72:56. Andy Logan also ran but is thought to have retired with a twisted ankle.

Richard, Gareth, Ian, Carl, Brian and Keith finished 14th team overall. Richard, Ian Carl and Brian were 5th MV40 team. And Richard, Ian and Brian were 3rd MV50 team

Interestingly, there were several families take part in club colours today. The Couplands, Deans, James', Logans, McMahons, Pickerills, Pikes and Simpsons.

Thanks to our team managers Katie & Lee Coupland, Carole James and Steve James.

I have a blue More Mile top and dark ESAA shorts left in tent.

Runners are reminded to keep their Mid Lancs race numbers. The British Athletics Cross Challenge in Sefton Park, Liverpool, on 25th November is Race 2 in the Mid Lancs series. Different numbers are used for the Cross Challenge event and you will need to tell your Team Manager if you intend to take part as runners need to be pre-entered. For seniors, there is also a liverpool & District cross country at Arrowe Park on the Wirral on Saturday 28th October.

Full Results


8th October 2017: Best of starts to Sportshall Athletics season

Round 1 of the North West Sportshall Athletics League took place at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes on Sunday and our young athletes couldn't have hoped for a better start. Up against Halton & Frodsham, Liverpool Harriers, St Helens Sutton and Warrington, we had four 1st places and a 3rd place, from our five age group teams; the girls being unbeaten across their three age groups.

Our Under 11 girls were Renee Adams, Lauren Byrne, Charlotte Hughes, Apphia Keenan, Hannah Keenan and Natalie Piercy. With many of last year's Under 11s having moved up to Under 13 this year, we didn't have quite as many but the girls scored in every event and emerged as the winning team with 172 points. But it was a close finish with Liverpool Harriers scoring 169.5 and Halton & Frodsham 168.5!

Lauren won the standing long jump competition with 2m 20. She was also 2nd in both the 2-lap, in 28.7, and the chest push with 6 metres. Apphia also took a 2nd place, with a count of 48 in the speed bounce, and Renee won the 'B' chest push with 5m 25. The girls also won their 4 x 2-lap relay.

Our Under 11 Boys were Adam Byrne, Sean Hopkins, Daniel Jones and Thomas Kilburn. Keeping up with the club's girls, our Under 11 Boys finished 1st overall. Adam won the 4-lap race in 64.9 and was 2nd in the standing triple jump with 5m 02. Thomas was another event winner, clearing 1m 75 in the standing long jump and he won the 'B' 4-lap in 65.6. Daniel was 2nd overall in the vertical jump reaching 35 cms and he won the 'B' long jump clearing 1m 56. Sean was 3rd in the speed bounce with 41.

Our Under 13 Girls were Maisie Bird, Brianna Hanlon, Michaela Hopkins, Amber Hughes, Millie Ireland, Sahara Jalloh, Sierra Jalloh, Jessica Keenan, Grace Malone, Katie Piercy and Niamh Procter. There is so much talent in this squad that I don't envy the Manager's job in giving everyone the events they want. But the results speaks for themselves with a good overall win for the girls. And that was backed up with 6 event wins and 4 'B' wins. That doesn't leave much for the other teams! Amber won the 6-lap in 1:30, the standing triple jump with 6m 18 and the 'B' shot with 8m 10. Katie was the overall winner in the shot with an incredible 9m 14. Her club record for the 2.72 kg shot is 8m 95 but I don't think we can accept a sportshall result for a new club record. Katie also won the 'B' standing triple jump with 5m 88 and the 6-lap race, running 1:37.4. Katie was more than a length behind at the bell and finished with impressive speed, to come up to the leader right on the line. Sierra was another event winner, the fastest 2-lapper in 26.7 and the best standing long jumper clearing 2m 14. Brianna won the 'B' long jump competition with 2m 06, Niamh was 2nd overall in the vertical jump with a reach of 44 and Michaela was 3rd in the speed bounce with 69. In a close competition, Maisie, Amber and Millie all scored a count of 68.

The girls also won their 4 x 2 lap relay, Amber running the last leg and leaving the other teams far behind!

Our Under 13 Boys were just Jack Clark and Ralph Collis but they did well between them to finish 3rd overall. Jack won the 2-lap race in 26.3. Ralph was 2nd in the speed bounce with 66 and was 2nd 'B' runner in the 6-lap finishing in 1:43.9.

Our Under 15 Girls' team was somewhat smaller than the Under 13 girls with just Alice Bird and Stephanie Robertson. But they impressed in their events and finished in joint 1st place overall. Stephanie won the vertical jump with 51, was 2nd in the 2-lap in 25.9 - the fastest of any of our youngsters today - and was 3rd in the long jump with 2m 08. Alice won the speed bounce competition with 63, was 2nd in the 6-lap in 1:48 and 3rd in the shot, throwing 4m 96. So that was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd for both girls.

We had no Under 15 Boys.

Round 2 is at Crewe on Sunday 12th November.

Full results | Results for Southport Waterloo

8th October 2017: Mark Dunham 8th in Chester Marathon

Club runners were spoilt for choice on Sunday with at least 4 road races within easy travelling distance. Most of our runners - 9 in total - chose the Chester Marathon where Mark Dunham finished 8th overall in 2:30:48, just 2 minutes off his london time earlier this year. Rob McGrath was 7th M50 in 2:53:08 and Tracey Allan ran 3:19:04, a PB and 14 minutes faster than she ran London this year! A good run from Mike Walker in 3:22:51 brought him home 2nd M65. James Brooker ran 3:28:38, Mark Ashby, 3:49:23, Peter Gale, 3:54:56, and Gina Bellhouse, 4:46:02. And Billy Hargreaves was 9th M70 in 4:46:13!

Four Southport Waterloo runners took part in the inaugural Kirkby 10 Miler, running through Knowsley Safari Park and the estate of Lord Derby. Sounds like a very scenic and interesting course. (There may have been more but the results don't show club so its easy to miss club runners.) Graham Liu was the first SWAC runner home in 1:30:10, closely followed by Adrian Shandley, 1:30:34, then Heather Goadsby, 1:31:54, and Emma Hopwood, 1:49:52.

As far as I can tell, the West Coast Half Marathon from Lytham St Annes and the Aintree 10k around the racecourse didn't attract any of our runners.

1st October 2017: Ben Johnson 5th in Glasgow

As part of his build-up to the Toronto Marathon later this month where he will represent England, Ben Johnson competed in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday and finished in 5th place in 67 minutes 17 secs,  which was his best by over a minute.   He can be seen via the race website, running the last 100m and still looking fresh. He was wearing the vest of his Scottish club, Shettleston, which is just like a SWAC vest without the edging.  Good luck in Toronto Ben !

Meanwhile his father, Rob, ran the Rainford 10k in 40.58

1st October 2017: Podium finish for Francois Rafferty at Rainford
Francois Rafferty finished 3rd in the Rainford 10K on Sunday. A strong final 75m secured a podium finish for him, beating last year's 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the process. His time of 35:47 was just outside his season's best, 35:36, run in Southport in September.